Waist Trainers: Are They Worth the Hype?

| Fitness

The celebrity world has become completely obsessed with this modern-day corset, and with all the supposed benefits, it may be tempting to splurge a little and buy into the hype! We take one look at those Kardashians and their slammin' bods, and the concept of tapering our waists with these new contraptions doesn't seem too outrageous! So are waist trainers just the newest fad, or are they here to stay? We've taken a look at some expert opinions to answer your questions and concerns.

waist trainer
(Photo: Beauty Dolls)

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What are they? Waist trainers consist of bands of latex material and a flex-boned corset, similar to the apparatus used during the Victorian era. The ultimate goal of a waist trainer is to target unwanted fat and reduce the size of your midriff in order to give you that sexy, hourglass figure. Proponents of this device claim that the results are permanent, and new celebrity mothers like Jessica Alba have insisted that it is thanks to their waist trainer that they were able to regain their pre-baby bodies.

How do they work? There are several components that contribute to the overall success rates of waist trainers. Naturally, just wearing a corset isn't going to turn you into a supermodel overnight. The primary element of the waist trainer is that it enforces excellent posture, which, in turn, helps strengthen the core. This, combined with perspiration (those bad boys are not lightweight, ladies!), extreme compression, a healthy diet and regular exercise, will ideally lead to a slimmer abdomen and waistline. The compression is believed to reduce food volume intake, so users are encouraged to consume smaller meals, rather than a full-on breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's not just about the corset — this is a commitment to a program!

Are there different options? There are variations when it comes to these contraptions, especially for new moms looking to get back in shape. Many companies have produced waist trainers that you wear at the gym that promote intense perspiration. Other wraps are designed to help reduce water retention and swelling in the uterus, and often help new mothers become comfortable with the new developments in their bodies.

waist trainer 2
(Photo: Ali Express)

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Are they effective? The overall agreement among health professionals is that the changes that you'll experience while wearing waist trainers are temporary at best. As a weight loss program, many experts encourage users to pursue more traditional methods, like diet and exercise. If you want to look slim and trim for a hot date, then a waist trainer can go a long way in giving you that confidence boost, but long-term results remain unclear.

Are they dangerous? Many experts claim that there are several risks associated with this new phenomenon. For instance, many new users often cinch the waist trainers too tightly, which can lead to discomfort, difficulty breathing, heartburn, and reflux (when your stomach gets shoved up above your diaphragm). When it comes to working out, even more issues arise. Women often have trouble breathing deeply or maintaining proper form, which can lead to severe injuries. Investing in one of these devices may give you the confidence you need to reach your goals, but make sure that you are wearing it safely!

stomach ache

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The bottom line: The general consensus is that waist trainers are probably not the permanent solution you are looking for, and that this may just be a quick fix in disguise. Shaping your body requires hard work and dedication, not just another accessory. While waist trainers are a great way to boost your confidence, and may inspire you to hit the gym and eat healthier, using them alone will probably do little to alter your waistline. To learn more, feel free to check out our sources: Waist No Time, Health.com, Women's Health Magazine, The Columbia Chronicle.